Mother’s Day is just around the corner, so it’s time to start planning surprises (or dropping hints!). Perhaps a lovely homemade lemon cake, hand-written notes from the children, and a stylish backdrop display inspired by Anthropologie would be just the thing to make Mom feel special!

This project was a joint effort: Christine from Pure Joy Events created the yellow and gray clothespin backdrop, Xiaolu from 6 Bittersweets made the lemon layer cake and took these beautiful photos, and I designed the free printable “memo to mom” cards (which you can download below). Let me tell you, it’s such an honor to be able to work together with such talented women! I’m also thrilled that Christine has generously offered to share her tutorial for the painted clothespin backdrop here on my blog. It’s such a fabulous idea to take something as simple as clothespins and turn them into something so chic!

Clothespin backdrop tutorial

200 wooden clothespins
Krylon indoor/outdoor gloss spray paint in Bright Idea, Sun Yellow, Classic Gray, Smoke Gray
50 ft. indoor/outdoor clothesline
23 in. x 35 in. cork board
6 clear push pins

Step 1.
Spray paint the clothespins (50 in each color) according to directions on the cans and allow them to dry completely.

Step 2.
Cut 3 42-inch pieces from the clothesline. Clip on the clothespins, leaving about 5 inches of clothesline on both ends.

Step 3.
Push the pins into the cork board, then hang the clothespins by tying the clotheslines around the push pins.

Once the clothespin backdrop is finished, you can leave it unadorned, or you can use the pins to display your “memos to Mom.” (If you use this backdrop idea for a birthday party, perhaps you could display special photos. For a baby shower or wedding shower, you could have guests write their good wishes on blank cards and clip them where they like.)

Lemon layer cake with tart lemon curd and lemon buttercream

Let’s not forget the cake! Xiaolu from 6 Bittersweets has shared the recipe for her beautiful and delicious lemon cake on the Pure Joy Events blog. With layers of light lemon cake, fresh lemon curd, and a cream cheese lemon buttercream frosting, this cake is divineGet the recipe here.

Free printable “memo to Mom” cards

And now the printables! I designed these little cards in a cheerful yellow and gray palette that perfectly matches the colors used in the clothespin backdrop, and they’re a simple and sweet way for kids to let Mom know they care. You can download the free printable (which also includes printable versions of Christine’s tutorial and Xialou’s lemon cake recipe) right here.

All photography courtesy of 6 Bittersweets
View the lemon cake recipe








We Love Your Comments!



  1. 1
    Friday, April 27th, 2012 at 11:03 am
    Christina DeJesus says:
    so cute !! love this !!1
  2. 2
    Friday, April 27th, 2012 at 11:17 am
    Mindy says:
    ooh, I like how the clothes pins are meant to hold messges, haha lightbulb!
    • 2.1
      Friday, April 27th, 2012 at 2:42 pm
      Heather says:
      I'm sure you'd be able to think of tons more ideas for the clothespins, too!! Like Christine, you're so creative with everyday things. I'm SO not that way. I see clothespin, I think clothespin. LOL! ; )
  3. 3
    Friday, April 27th, 2012 at 11:17 am
    Debbie says:
    Such a great idea. Nice work ladies!
    • 3.1
      Friday, April 27th, 2012 at 2:43 pm
      Heather says:
      Thank you Debbie! Christine from Pure Joy Events gets all the credit for bringing this project together. She's super creative AND a good coordinator!
  4. 4
    Friday, April 27th, 2012 at 11:20 am
    Christine {Pure Joy Events} says:
    Heather, you'll have to join us for the next photo shoot and "taste test" Xiaolu's sweets for yourself. Always fun to collaborate with you both!
    • 4.1
      Friday, April 27th, 2012 at 2:44 pm
      Heather says:
      I'd LOVE to come, even just to try to pick up a few photo styling tips! I have a good camera and now I just need to learn how to use it a little. ; )
  5. 5
    Friday, April 27th, 2012 at 11:58 am
    XL @ 6 Bittersweets says:
    You did an AMAZING job with the printable, as usual. So much fun and can't wait to work with you and Christine again soon 8).
    • 5.1
      Friday, April 27th, 2012 at 2:58 pm
      Heather says:
      I can't wait, too!! I wish I could have you photograph everything on my to-do list, you do such a gorgeous job! : )
      • 5.1.1
        Friday, April 27th, 2012 at 8:57 pm
        XL @ 6 Bittersweets says:
        Aw you are too sweet, Heather! Seriously feel free to join us next time <3.
  6. 6
    Friday, April 27th, 2012 at 12:13 pm
    Windy City Novelties says:
    The Clothespins are such a great idea and nothing I would have ever thought to do!
  7. 7
    Friday, April 27th, 2012 at 2:14 pm
    Betty Bake says:
    aww this is beautiful
    and has so much impact!
    well done
    I love it!

    Betty Bake x
    • 7.1
      Friday, April 27th, 2012 at 2:49 pm
      Heather says:
      Thank you Betty!! : )
  8. 8
    Friday, April 27th, 2012 at 3:52 pm
    Mayra ~ In Flight says:
    Great collaboration from all of you, loving the colors and the printable!!
    • 8.1
      Saturday, April 28th, 2012 at 9:22 pm
      Heather says:
      Thank you Mayra! : )
  9. 9
    Saturday, April 28th, 2012 at 11:57 pm
    Camille @ Makoodle says:
    This is awesome! So creative and unique. I love the color choices. Thanks for sharing.
  10. 10
    Sunday, April 29th, 2012 at 12:31 pm
    Deebi27 says:
    What a great idea for Mom, graduation or just everyday ordinary events. Each family member can use a specific color for their notes! I love this idea!
  11. 11
    Monday, April 30th, 2012 at 10:07 pm
    Leslie says:
    Love that clothespin banner! Wouldn’t it be great for a back to school party?
    • 11.1
      Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 at 7:43 pm
      Heather says:
      Ooh! It really would be, that's a great idea! : )
  12. 12
    Thursday, June 7th, 2012 at 10:29 pm
    kelsey says:
    I think the link may be broken??
    • 12.1
      Friday, June 8th, 2012 at 8:23 am
      Heather says:
      Hi Kelsey! I just tested it, it works:
  13. 13
    Friday, July 13th, 2012 at 1:26 pm
    Georgia says:
    love the clothespins--super inexpensive way for me to display my children's art in the play room! thanks for the great idea!!
    • 13.1
      Friday, July 13th, 2012 at 8:53 pm
      Heather says:
      Ooh, that would be such a fun art display! Thanks for YOUR idea! : )
  14. 14
    Thursday, July 26th, 2012 at 10:46 am
    Judy Freeze says:
    Beautiful idea! we are wanting to use this idea for a co-worker retiring - wondering if you could provide template that could be adjusted for this use?

    Now hooked to your blog!
    • 14.1
      Saturday, July 28th, 2012 at 1:36 pm
      Heather says:
      Hi Judy! I have a printable that might work for you - it includes two pages of pre-printed notes, but also two pages of BLANK notes that you can use for any occasion. Here's a link:

      Thanks so much for reading my blog!! : )
  15. 15
    Thursday, January 10th, 2013 at 4:19 pm
    DIY Cleaning Junkie says:
    Best idea ever for an event decoration! Even for teachers that want to display their students school work. Awesome tutorial :) Thanks for sharing!

    • 15.1
      Monday, January 14th, 2013 at 6:15 pm
      Heather says:
      That's a great idea! If I were a teacher I'd make a display in rainbow colors : )